Calgary Board of Education Interactive School Maps Student Results International Students Why choose the CBE? Click here to email us

Archived Principal Message

Principal Message: June 2016

Glendale School Michelle SpeightLeaving a Legacy: Reflections on the 2015-2016 School Year

“A Community is like a ship: everyone must be prepared to take the helm.”
 ~Henrick Ibsen

In every school, the end of a school year is a cathartic time for school staff to celebrate and reflect upon the legacy that has been created together on behalf of students. As I look back at the 2015-2016 school year, I can’t help but describe this year as a phenomenal one. 

As the instructional leader of Glendale School, I believe strongly in shared leadership.  Shared leadership, or more simply, the notion that we are essentially a community of leaders, enables each staff member to lead.  With leadership comes insatiable learning. By creating a community of learning amongst our staff, we are inevitably creating a lasting legacy for our students.

This year all of the staff at Glendale School should be commended for their commitment to developing a shared vision for learning as a cohesive community.  Their continual support and care for one another has been inspirational and their eagerness to learn together has resulted in remarkable growth in our work in improving our students’ ability to comprehend text while reading (See Glendale School’s school development plan for more details about this work at http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b143/sdp.htm ).  As John Ryan, from the Centre for Creative Leadership notes, leaving a legacy “Starts first with our attitude.”  I sincerely believe that the staff at Glendale School have the most incredible and positive attitude toward creating a model of instructional excellence. They are creative and tireless in their efforts and I feel honoured to be a leader amongst these leaders.

Ryan also explains that to leave a legacy, we must be “Willing to listen to good advice and change our mind and actions because of it.”  Most importantly, Ryan emphasizes the need to get outside of our “Comfort zone.”  At Glendale School, we believe that the practice of education is accomplished through a network of collaboration, supported by the ideas and competencies of everyone, and that we must always remain open to professional growth and research.  We also understand that exploring new teaching methodologies is no easy task.

Sometimes we have been uncomfortable with the change we were experiencing, in spite of what we had read in educational research.  Sometimes we were having a difficult time “connecting the dots.”  Sometimes we struggled to leave old practices behind.  And then, like magic it all started to make sense.  In spite of our discomfort, we began to see that our legacy is that we have created a welcoming, alive, and authentic place of learning; personalized for all learners.  What a legacy, indeed!

As we embark into the last month of school, I want to thank all of the staff members this year for supporting this great community and for leaving a legacy that we can continue to build on together.

My grandmother once told me, “A legacy is like a pebble in your shoe.  It’s always there reminding you of where you’ve been.”   I am a proud principal and thank you for allowing me to be a part of this incredible learning community so that I too, may leave a lasting legacy for you and your children. A legacy that will remind them of where they’ve been- an incredible place called Glendale School.

Please do not hesitate to speak with me should you have any questions.

Michelle Speight
Proud Principal of
Glendale School
mmspeight@cbe.ab.ca

Archived Principal Messages